Monday, March 10, 2008

What Men Want

I love Pearls Before Swine. It's clean, funny, and often has good social commentary. This strip is especially biting. What the mouse is saying isn't new--in fact, everyone knows it. It's hearing a mouse say it that makes it funny.

I hate the attitude the mouse expresses, and I find it so prevalent in our society, even in LDS culture, and I think that's awfully sad. I usually find it paired with a wink and a nudge and a sigh, "Well, boys will be boys," they say, as if that's an excuse. Boys, indeed, may be anything they like, but more is expected of men. As Paul put it, "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things" (1 Cor. 13:11). The time has passed to continue reveling in childish things.

On his deathbed, Lehi exhorted his sons to "arise from the dust, my sons, and be men" (2 Ne. 1:21). I find no more scriptural justification for men who "only want one thing" than I do for nymphomaniacal women. (Yes, I just used a six-syllable word =). The Lord expects better of His children, especially those who have made sacred covenants with Him.

Note that I am not condemning the sexual desires of anyone, male or female--nor even their strength or consistency. As President Packer has stated,

"It was necessary that this power of creation have at least two dimensions: one, it must be strong; and two, it must be more or less constant. This power must be strong, for most men by nature seek adventure. Except for the compelling persuasion of these feelings, men would be reluctant to accept the responsibility of sustaining a home and a family. This power must be constant, too, for it becomes a binding tie in family life." ("Why Stay Morally Clean," New Era, July 1972, p. 5)

However, this admittedly strong and constant desire cannot excuse obsession with anything that falls outside the bounds the Lord has set. As Jeffrey R. Holland observed, "I refuse to buy some young man's feigned innocence who wants to sin and call it psychology." ("Of Souls, Symbols, and Sacraments") The prophets have also extended this condemnation of unrestrained desire to married persons. While the Church Handbook provides that "sexual relations within marriage are divinely approved not only for the purpose of procreation, but also as a means of expressing love and strengthening emotional and spiritual bonds between husband and wife," President Kimball noted that "sex experiences were never intended by the Lord to be a mere plaything or merely to satisfy passions and lusts." (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, pp. 311-312)

Though the world may instruct us that men, by virtue of their Y-chromosome, are necessarily inheritors of--and victims to--their unbridled sexual desire that overwhelms their capacity for higher reasoning, that view is insulting to God, in whose image their bodies are made. As Isaiah so beautifully wrote, more is expected of we who have covenanted to serve the Lord: "Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels [that is, the priesthood] of the Lord" (Isaiah 52:11).

3 comments:

  1. I think that your a genius! I agree, I don't like when it is used as a cushion for men to sit on. A reason for the way they behave. If you expect that of a guy than thats who he will be but if you expect more than they can and will be more. The problem is we rationalize behavior instead of cultivating it. I did not know you had a blog! I do to, its www.clriggs.blogspot.com Its actually both Charles and mine but mostly I post on it.

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  2. a few comments:
    1) what happened the series on how to understand women?
    2) I agree. But the comic is right that this is the attitude of most men, in fact the vast majority. Not sure though if I would really call them men. IF left to themselves, most men will follow a path like this, but God expects us to overcome the natural man and to be better. But without God's spirit in your life, what else is there in life for most of these men. The comic got it right. Without the spirit, it's adventure, sex, and beer.

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  3. ouch!
    You demolished the 56th nucleotide on my Y chromosome!

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